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Americans Engage Enemy Forces in Afghanistan

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2002 -- U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan engaged in two firefights Nov. 14, DoD officials said today.

There were no U.S. casualties.

In the first incident, unidentified hostile forces fired nine 107 mm rockets at the U.S. base near Gardez. The rockets exploded near the compound. Air Force fighters rained four bombs and 2,000 30 mm cannon rounds at the suspected enemy launch site in response to a Special Forces call for help. Upon examining the area, U.S. personnel found a tenth, unfired rocket.

The second incident occurred near Lwara. Enemy personnel fired two 107 mm rockets, two mortar rounds and a rocket-propelled grenade. Officials said one round impacted on the base. The Americans called for air support; an A-10 and a Marine AV-8 Harrier answered and engaged the enemy.

Later, 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers combing the second launch site exchanged small arms and mortar fire with enemy forces. U.S. ground and air forces repelled two subsequent enemy infiltration attempts at the second site.

Initial reports are at least two enemy were killed in the overnight fighting. U.S. forces continue to examine both sites.

There are about 9,000 Americans and 9,000 coalition troops in Afghanistan. Operations to find and neutralize Taliban and al Qaeda forces continue. U.S. personnel are also helping train the Afghan national army and are providing medical and humanitarian aid to Afghans at large.

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